Artillery is a tool of destruction. Howitzers, in particularly, are a kind of weapon great for lobbing explosions up through the air and over objects to crash down on foes. So why is defense and aviation giant Boeing looking to howitzers as a way to fight forest fires?
Because artillery, as it turns out, doesn’t have to just deliver explosives. The guns themselves don’t care too much about what the shell fired does when it lands; the guns are just there to put the payload where it goes. A new patent from Boeing for a “Fire-retarding artillery shell” wants to swap out the death-dealing explosives in howitzer shells and replace them with life-saving fire retardant.
A patent summary describes how the artillery works.